January 10, 2016

A craptacular #PITvsCIN was #ATraditionUnlikeAnyOther!

Vontaze Burfict: Did he get flagged for 'reputation'
The Steelers-Bengals playoff game last night, as recounted by Great Red Satan, was craptacular indeed.

I'm not primarily talking about the game. I'm talking about the reffing and the announcing, hence the second hashtag.

How is Ryan Shazier NOT called for a personal foul but Vontaze Burfict is not, especially when the first hit was helmet to helmet, but the second was shoulder to helmet? (If you don't believe me, check the tape — Burifect led with his shoulder.)

Then, how was Steelers assistant Joey Porter NOT called for unsportsmanlike for being that far out on the field for that long, but Bengals player Adam Jones was?

Look, I know Burifect has a reputation, and, it's largely a deserved one, and per Steelers' comments after their second regular season game about wanting to play the Bengals again and see a meltdown, head coach Marvin Lewis bears some responsibility. And, even Pacman has an old reputation. But, still.

(Update: Burfict will get three weeks of holiday at the start of the 2016 season, unless he wins his appeal.)

Meanwhile, how do Jim Nantz and Phil Simms miss any of this? And other things they miss?

Nantz, of course, the man who pushed the Masters to flag Tiger Woods last year for an illegal drop, prides and preens himself as the conscience of sports. Except when refusing to talk about Peyton Manning's alleged PEDing, in part because the two have the same agent.

Given that Shazier's hit on Giovanni Bernard caused a lost fumble that led to Steeler points, their third field goal, this is a big deal. Add NFL on CBS officiating consultant Mike Carey to CBS's craptaculartude on this, especially for calling Shazier's hit clean when he led with his helmet, which it very arguably was not. Lewis has reason to complain. Burfict talks in the locker room here.

Looking ahead? If Antonio Brown doesn't clear concussion protocol, and Big Ben's throwing shoulder is at less than 100 percent (he showed us little in his return Saturday), they're in trouble against Denver, and what looked like potentially the best AFC path to the Super Bowl may wash out.

Add in that Gary Kubiak has a self-created potential QB controversy between Manning and Brock Osweiler, that game will be interesting indeed.

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